Traveling is a path to enjoyment, relaxation and personal development, according to the travel gurus. Traveling to a foreign land is a privilege everyone seeks. The charms of the unknown lands lure the people and a foreign trip benefits us in a plethora of ways as well. From taking a break from the monotonous lifestyle by planning a foreign vacation to boarding a plane to a land full of educational riches, a foreign trip provides the right package of leisure and exposure. Moreover, on a professional note, a foreign project is sure to boost one’s career stats.
But, what if you hold a criminal record in Canada? The norms of some countries put restrictions on your voyage in their land. Your country may be lenient in some terms, but that not may be the case with certain other countries.
The Diversity matters
Every country has its own policies and regulations and thus, all the countries that do or do not welcome convicted Canadians cannot be possibly listed in a mere article of a few words. Some laws pertain to severe restrictions while the inconsistency in some can cause loopholes.
Let’s consider some countries and their policies regarding immigration of convicts.
The United States of America
Theoretically, the immigration laws of USA forbid any Canadian convict from entering the country. The laws have become stricter and the customs and border patrol hold the right to deny you entry into the USA if you have some criminal history. However, they can make use of this right only by conducting a background check which they don’t usually do with the common masses. Therefore, Canadians with criminal records who have been entering and exiting the USA for decades can avoid the checks whether they enter by air or via the highways.
However, if caught, entry is prohibited forever until a US entry waiver (also called I-192 or I-194 form) is secured which is a sophisticated application and can take quite some time to get. The border personnel records the fingerprint of a convict and a US entry waiver is put into motion. Obtaining it can be a tedious and costly procedure and it has to be renewed post-expiration, i.e., about 1-5 years.
The United Kingdom
The immigration policies of the UK are relatively milder as they consider Canadian convicts with no recent criminal act to be rehabilitated or spent and allow them to enter the country.
However, the amount of time to be considered rehabilitated varies according to the criminal record of the person.
The European Union
Short trips of about 90 days at maximum are possible in the European Union without a visa. Therefore, a Canadian with a criminal record can travel the European countries if the planned trip is short.
For longer trips, a visa is required and thus, criminal records will be asked for. Subtle consequences may be faced in such situations.